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Israel closes Gaza border crossing, responding to rallies

Moscow, Israel announced on Sunday the closure of the only operating crossing for people between Israel and the Gaza Strip--Erez (Beit Hanoun in Arabic), a spokesman for the Palestinian Civil Affairs Ministry said.

'Israeli authorities informed the commission [ministry] regarding the closure of Beit Hanoun crossing since Sunday morning and that it will be closed for those traveling outside of Gaza, while for Palestinians returning to Gaza, it will remain open,' Mohammed Maqadma was quoted as saying by the Ma'an news agency, Sputnik reported.

The official explained that the reason for the closure was a march organized by Palestinians on Saturday near Gaza's northern border, as well as the continuing Great March of Return, the Palestinian protest campaign against Israel.

According to the news outlet, citing the Israeli Defense Ministry, the closure of the crossing does not apply to people who need immediate medical assistance outside the Gaza Strip.

Tensions between the Israelis and the Palestinians near the Gaza border have been mounting since late March, which marked the beginning of the Great March of Return.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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